John Jordan’s short animated experiment is a film that would have pretty much benefited from a longer format, some original voice work, and perhaps better dialog in the end, but for what he serves up in the form of original animation and the public domain cartoons, “Superman vs. The Giant Robot from Outer Space” is a great short for the Super Geeks out there.
Written and directed by Stellan Kendrick, Goodnight, Gracie is a short film that clocks in under 5 minutes, giving itself just enough time to create a story and shock just a little bit, then leave a quick and effective impression. The film manages to attain its goals in that short period of time. The writing and direction show careful writing of the story and a good grasp of suspense and shock. The way this short is built gives its story maximum effect through the set-up discovery, and ending. It shows that sometimes less is indeed more and that not all stories need a two-hour runtime to be effective.
Written and directed by Betty Ouyang, this short film explores family relations between two artist sisters and their more down to Earth father through one meal together. The family dynamics on display here are interesting to watch develop as more information is revealed about each member. Ouyang takes this subject and makes it distinctly hers by putting herself in the lead as well as in the writing and directing style. Here the subject is taken head-on and shown through intimate conversations. The way she approaches each discussion, each interaction is honest and done in a manner that is up close and personal for the characters thus pulling the viewer into their lives.
2017 was a crazy year for film short and long. I saw 880 feature length films and 131 short films. Of those I chose my favorites have already been posted for the features here and here. The shorts were harder for me to sort through so it took longer to get this out there for you all to read. I decided to use shorts that were part of my festival coverage for the year so a few have creating dates before 2017 and I also decided to not include what I have seen online as those were too numerous. So without any further ado, here are my top 10 Shorts Films for 2017:
Adam and Steve; are sitting in the middle of a café going over their feelings after a blind date, until Steve comes out to Adam and admits something about their hook up the night before. It’s not long until Adam has to deal with the insanity as Steve comes completely clean. I really liked the set up of “Check Please!” as it felt like a comedy skit that thankfully never wore on.
BOOTLEG FILES 615: “The Spirit of Charles Lindbergh” (1984 short directed by and starring Orson Welles).
LAST SEEN: It is on YouTube.
AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.
REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: The rarest and least known of Welles’ output.
CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: The full short deserves to be a special feature on a future DVD release.
Everybody is aware that Orson Welles began his filmmaking career with the biggest bang imaginable – you know, that film about the megalomaniac newspaper publisher obsessed over his childhood sled. However, few people are aware that Welles ended his filmmaking career with a whisper: a three-minute short intended as a private video for an ailing friend.
Michael Buie’s “The Lake” is a masterpiece of a short film. It’s a beautiful, somber, and heartbreaking look at how the inevitability of our death doesn’t mean we have to stop living life. I sat through the entirety of “The Lake” with a teary eye, mainly because director and writer Michael Buie manages to convey the terror and confusion of being told you’re about to die with pure brilliance. “The Lake” is never exploitative or over saccharine, it’s just about learning to make the most of the time we have in our life.